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How do I find information for my assignments


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Providing guidance on the use of the Learning Library's website for finding relevant information sources for assignments.

Published in: Education
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How do I find information for my assignments

  1. 1. How do I… …find information for my assignments?
  2. 2. Why can’t I just use the Internet?
  3. 3. The Internet has lots of great information, but not all websites are appropriate for college and university assignments.
  4. 4. Why?  There are no controls on the Internet.  Anyone can create a website and say whatever they want.  Too much information! It’s hard to sort through it all to find what you need.  You need to know you have reliable information for college & university assignments.
  5. 5. This is where the Library comes in… The Library provides many reliable information sources, and can help you find what you need for your assignments!
  6. 6. “Okay, how do I find information in the Library?”
  7. 7. First step... o Understand your assignment! o Read it over carefully. o What is it you are expected to do? o If something isn’t clear to you, ask your instructor.
  8. 8. Choose a Topic Pick something you’re interested in. Make your topic specific. Do some background reading to get familiar with your topic. Look up terms you don’t understand.
  9. 9. Background Reading o Reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.) o Your course textbook o Check the Catalogue for other books related to your topic
  10. 10. The Library website is where you begin.
  11. 11. Decide what kinds of information you need. o Books? o Journal articles? o Newspapers? o Maps? o Statistics & data? o Government documents? o Websites?
  12. 12. The kind of information you need depends on the type of assignment you have to do. Are you writing an essay or research paper? Do you need facts or opinion? Do you need current or historical information? Are you looking at different viewpoints about an issue?
  13. 13. Finding Books and Articles…
  14. 14. The success of your search depends on you choosing good search terms. Think of single words or short phrases that represent the main ideas of your topic and use these as search terms.
  15. 15. Sample topic: What are the effects of global warming on weather? The main concepts are: global warming weather
  16. 16. Finding Books
  17. 17. Library Website Click on Catalogue
  18. 18. Search using single words or short phrases that represent the main idea(s) of your topic.
  19. 19. You can narrow a search by adding another term.
  20. 20. Use left side column to narrow your results. For example by Author or Format type.
  21. 21. Click on a title for more information.
  22. 22. Note the Call Number and Location to help you find the item. The Call Number is the item’s “address” on the shelves. Status tells you which library the item belongs to and if it’s available. Location tells you where to go in the library to find the item.
  23. 23. o act as an item’s address on the shelves. o are a combination of letters and numbers. o are read line by line. QC 981.8 .G56 G674 2006 Call numbers:
  24. 24. Electronic resource indicates that the item is an e-book. Click on the link to access the book online.
  25. 25. Not finding what you need in the Catalogue? o Check the spelling of your search terms. o Try variations of your search terms, such as: o Synonyms, eg. adolescents, youths, teenagers o Closely related words, eg. computer games, video games o Alternate spellings, eg. behavior, behaviour o Plural or singular, eg. women, woman o Try broader search terms, eg. canada instead of ontario o Try more specific terms, eg. anorexia instead of eating disorders
  26. 26. Finding Articles
  27. 27. Articles are great when you want: o Information on a specific topic o Up-to-date information on current events, new products, trends, or the latest research on a topic o Different viewpoints on an issue
  28. 28. The Library subscribes to many databases which provide you access to thousands of online magazines, journals, newspapers & similar publications.
  29. 29. Databases allow you to search several publications at once... your searching is faster and more efficient than browsing one publication at a time!
  30. 30. Many of the Library’s articles are available in their entirety through these databases.
  31. 31. What’s the difference between a journal and a magazine?
  32. 32. Magazine Articles • General-interest • Not scholarly • Written by reporters, feature editors • Wide audience • No abstracts or references • Glossy, with pictures • Advertisements • Usually < 5 pages
  33. 33. • Scholarly • Written by subject experts • Report on original research • Specific audience • Includes an abstract and references • Usually no pictures • No advertisements • Usually > 5 pages Journal Articles
  34. 34. To find articles on any topic You search online, through the Library website
  35. 35. Library Website Click on E-Resources
  36. 36. Select a subject related to your topic, or choose “General”.
  37. 37. General databases provide articles on a variety of subjects. Other databases are subject-specific.
  38. 38. Search using single words or short phrases that best represent the main ideas of your topic.
  39. 39. If you get too many results, you need to narrow your search.
  40. 40. Adding another search term results in fewer, more relevant results. When using multiple search terms, join them with “and”.
  41. 41. Selecting Academic Journals in Source Types will limit the results to these publications only.
  42. 42. Clicking on a Subject adds that term to the search and focuses the results.
  43. 43. To find out more about an article, hold your cursor over the article preview icon or click on the title.
  44. 44. To get the full article, look for a full text link, or click on
  45. 45. Off-Campus Access to E-Resources Nipissing: Username = WebAdvisor ID Password = WebAdvisor password Canadore: Username = student number Password = birthdate (mmddyy)
  46. 46. Another Way to Find Articles If you’ve found a good article, look at the references to see what sources the author cited. You may find more articles related to your topic!
  47. 47. How do I find an article when all I have is a citation? Sample citation: Sheppard, George. 2000. "The Iroquois in the War of 1812." Canadian Historical Review 81, no. 2: 304-305.
  48. 48. First, look up the publication in Journals by Title.
  49. 49. Enter the title of the publication provided in the citation.
  50. 50. Journals by Title will tell you: • if the Library has the publication, • what format it is in, and • the volumes and dates available. In this example, you can click on GO to access the article online, or find the print version in the Library.
  51. 51. Journals by Title can also be used to find out if the Library has access to a specific journal, magazine or newspaper.
  52. 52. Evaluate the information you find… No matter where your information comes from, you need to look at it critically to decide if it is reliable and relevant to your assignment.
  53. 53. Ask yourself a few questions.  Is the author a subject expert?  Is the information current?  Is the information relevant to your topic?  Is the information intended to provide facts, or to entertain, promote an opinion, or sell something?  Was it written at a level appropriate for your topic and type of assignment?
  54. 54. o Write it down, o save it on a USB key, o email it to yourself, or o print your information You will need to include all your sources in a list of references. Make sure you keep track of all the sources you use for information.
  55. 55. We’re here to help! Visit us at the Info Desk or contact us at: o 705-474-3450 ext. 4221 o Or 1-800-655-5154 (choose Library) o